There can be few experiences as disappointing and debilitating to the upwardly mobile professional or family as a crushingly low property valuation. Unfortunately in the case of house selling, beauty may not be in the eye of the beholder, but more in the eye of the estate agent and the local market. You may think that your home, in good condition and specification, is worth more than the experts believe it to be. If your property is valued lower than you expected, here is some useful advice on what to do next.
Don’t sell immediately
Once you’ve read the remainder of this blog you’ll be aware that a small outlay and a little work could boost the valuation by thousands of pounds. Therefore, unless there is an urgent need for cash, or you want to get rid of it as soon as possible, or you’ve got to move quickly, then restraining yourself for even a month could pay dividends.
Ask the valuer
It sounds too obvious, but why not take the initiative and question where you might make improvements that equal money? There’s certainly no harm in asking while they’re physically in the building.
Most buyers want to move into your home, unload their bags and furniture, and settle down. They don’t want to be replacing windows, fixing doors and repairing shattered tiles. The odd task is acceptable but if there is a lengthy list of required improvements they start to impinge on the value of the home. Get them fixed
If it’s severe – such as structural damage – then the work really is worth doing, as not only will you not get the valuation you want, you might not get any offers or buyers either.
Step into the shoes of a potential buyer who has just entered your dining room, to see green and pink wallpaper straight from 1973. Those shoes will be left behind pretty quickly as they leave the house.
The key is to leave rooms that are multipurpose, so go for light pastels with unobtrusive patterns. Anything garish and awkward needs to be removed; for example, a lightly coloured yellow, cream or green bedroom could be useful for boy or girl, parents or grandparents, a gym, study or games room.
The outlay on a conservatory, loft conversion, garage, summerhouse or other attractions might be worth consideration if each boosts your chances of a good valuation. Planning permission for any of these changes (if needed) can be worth an extra couple of thousand, even if you don’t actually build them. If you do, research has shown that a new conservatory can recoup 108% of its value, while a new loft might be worth double its cost.
Garages actually present an interesting dilemma, as an additional bedroom could potentially be of far greater value, so consider conversion. And if there’s any way you can create a parking space in a busy, built-up area then take it; saying goodbye to the prized flowerbeds might be painful to your eyes, but good for your wallet.
Where space is at a premium consider removing a wall to turn two small rooms into one large one. For example an open plan dining room and kitchen, in harmonious décor, could be very attractive. Any steps that can be taken to reduce the feeling of constriction and create a welcoming, open environment should be grasped - sometimes just removing a door (or two) will suffice.